Lot 514: De Tomaso Mangusta Coup�
One of the very first supercars, the Mangusta effectively established De Tomaso as a serious automobile manufacturer on its arrival in 1967. Alejandro De Tomaso had begun racing in his native Argentina in 1951 before moving to Italy to drive for Maserati and OSCA, the latter firm having been founded by the Maserati brothers after they sold up. This experience inspired him to form his own company - De Tomaso Automobili - in Modena, Italy in 1959. Racing was the order of the day to begin with, the fledgling firm building cars for Formula Junior, Formula 3, Formula 2 and Formula 1. De Tomaso's first road car - the Vallelunga - did not appear until 1965. A pretty, mid-engined coup� powered by a 1.5-litre Ford four-cylinder engine, the Vallelunga was built in small numbers and was not a success, but did contribute its short-wheelbase, backbone chassis, albeit extensively re-engineered, to the Mangusta. The Mangusta (mongoose) was powered by a mid-mounted 289ci (4.7-litre) Ford V8 engine. Also used to power Ford's GT40 Le Mans challenger, the iconic '289' produced 306bhp as installed in the Mangusta, which also used the GT40's early-type ZF transaxle. Later Mangusta production used the less desirable Ford '302' engine producing only 220bhp, together with a later ZF transmission. Carrozzeria Ghia's Giorgetto Giugiaro contributed the striking gull-wing doored coachwork, which had been intended for Giotto Bizzarrini. There is much in Giugiaro's design that echoes his work when designing the Maserati Ghibli, Iso Grifo, Ferrari 250 Berlinetta Bertone and, of course, the timeless Alfa Romeo Guilia Sprint GT. With 300-or-so horsepower on tap the aerodynamic Mangusta was good for a top speed in the region of 155mph. All-round disc brakes helped restrain this outstanding performance. De Tomaso enjoyed close links with the Ford Motor Company at this time and the American firm helped put the Mangusta into larger scale production than would otherwise have been possible. Nevertheless, only 401 examples were made between 1967 and 1972, and any Mangusta is extremely rare. Indeed, the three marque registries estimate that there are only 250 Mangustas remaining worldwide. Having spent some 20 years in a private collection, this stunning example displays a believed-correct total of approximately 6,000 miles (9,700 kilometres) on the odometer and is finished in red with black leather interior. '8MA1120' benefits from a recent service, which included fitting a new compressor for the air conditioning unit, a vital extra on this car. The car is offered with Swiss and German registration documents.
Grand Palais Sale|
Bonhams, Paris, France
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